As World AIDS Day approaches on Thursday, there is so much to be thankful for, and so much work yet undone.
People with HIV on effective treatment live as long as those without HIV, and almost never transmit HIV to their seronegative partners. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is safe and it works, and through it and other means of prevention we are slowing the epidemic, bit by bit. This fall a new vaccine aiming to build on the RV144 success story began testing in South Africa.
Despite those massive successes, 2 million more people are newly infected with HIV every year. Less than half of the world's HIV-positive population can access HIV therapy. In the United States, only 30 percent of people with HIV achieve the goal of full virological suppression on medications. A substantial fraction of people living with HIV don't know they are infected, and stigma is still a problem for people with HIV.
HIV is the defining health threat of our day. We have made real progress, but we cannot be complacent. It was a honor to discuss these issues and more for NHPR's Exchange radio show.